2015 NFL Mock Draft: v 5.0

With the deadline for early entrants come and gone, and the draft order officially set, now is a good time for my fifth 2015 NFL Mock Draft.

ESPN will digest and spit out the quarterbacks, but this is a weak class of signal callers. This draft looks to be all about the offensive and defensive line and the skill positions, most notably wide receivers and running backs. This will be a great draft to replenish your dynasty squad with young talent.


1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Jameis Winston, So, Florida State
6'4, 230 lbs
Hometown: Bessemer, AL
2014 Stats: 305-467, 3907 yards, 25 TD, 18 INT

I think guys like Leonard Williams and Shane Ray are still very much in play here, but as of right now, it looks like Tampa Bay will go the quarterback route. Of course, that comes down to Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, two prospects who could not be any different on or off the field.

It is still way too early in the process to pinpoint who the Buccaneers will target, but as far as on the field fit, Winston looks like the top choice. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter arrives from a vertical scheme in Atlanta, and Winston's strong arm would be a great fit. Of course, his on the field performance is not the reason he is such a risk at number one. Winston has suffered from numerous off the field issues that range from immaturity to criminal acts. Scouts will have to think long and hard about using a top pick on Winston, but the new rookie salary cap makes picks like this less risky. Ultimately I think the Bucs will go with either Winston or Marcus Mariota and hope for the best.


2. Tennessee Titans
DE/DT Leonard Williams, Jr, USC
6'5, 290 lbs
2014 Stats: 71 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 INT

Everyone seems to have the quarterback the Buccaneers do not select going to Tennessee. I do not see it. This is likely Ken Whisenhunt's last head coaching chance, and I do not think he will want to break in yet another rookie quarterback. Most likely he will go with Zack Mettenberger and/or a veteran.

That would leave Leonard Williams as the best player available. He reminds me of Richard Seymour in the way he is scheme versatile. Remember Seymour excelled as an end in New England's 3-4 than continued to produce once he moved on to Oakland's 4-3. Williams is a complete end that should settle quite nicely in Tennessee's three man front. He has the rare ability to stop the run and get after the quarterback.


3.Jacksonville Jaguars
DE/OLB Randy Gregory, Jr, Nebraska
6'6, 245 lbs
Hometown: Fishers, IN
2014 Stats: 54 tackles, 7 sacks, 1 INT

The Jaguars have not drafted tremendously well in recent years. This is a team that simply lacks talent, and needs to go with best player available every round, with an eye on improving the offensive line and every level of the defense.

Randy Gregory might be the most talented pass rusher to come along since Dion Jordan, but like Jordan, he is just as raw. Gregory is tall and lanky and undersized as a three down defender, but excels at getting after the quarterback. He should still land in the top ten, because pass rushers with his talent often do, but he will be a work in progress.


4. Oakland Raiders
DE Dante Fowler, Jr, Florida
6'3, 261 lbs
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
2014 Stats: 60 tackles, 8.5 sacks

The Raiders have drafted pretty well in recent seasons, but still lack the depth and athleticism to compete on most Sunday's. Oakland should spend another draft simply selecting the best player available as they continue to rebuild this roster from the ground up.

Dante Fowler is not quite the pass rushing beast that Shane Ray or Randy Gregory are, but he may be the most complete lineman in this draft other than Leonard Williams. The former top recruit was the only Florida defender to show up in 2014. He excells against the run and has the versatility to play some linebacker as well. Fowler also showed his pass rushing chops with a three sack performance against East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl. Along with Khalil Mack, he would give the Raiders two jack of all trades defenders to build around.


5. Washington Redskins
DE/OLB Shane Ray, Jr, Missouri
6'3, 245 lbs
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
2014 Stats: 65 tackles, 14.5 sacks

Good news and bad news. The good news, the Redskins finally get to draft in the first round again. The bad news, it is another top five selection. The team is as dysfunctional as ever, with Robert Griffin III clashing with coaching and the front office. The Redskins have a plethora of needs, from offensive line to all over the defense.

This draft is loaded with pass rushers, and perhaps no player was more consistent in getting after the quarterback than Shane Ray. Brian Orakpo will most likely move on following the season, and Trent Murphy is a mediocre option to replace him. Ray ideally would be a very nice fit as a 3-4 pass rusher, though he needs to bulk up to hold up against the run.


6. New York Jets
QB Marcus Mariota, Jr, Oregon
6'4, 219 lbs
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
2014 Stats: 304-445, 4454 yards, 42 TD, 4 INT

The Jets inability to develop offensive talent cost Rex Ryan his job, and new head coach Todd Bowles will have his work cut out for him on that side of the ball. The Jets also have plenty of needs on defense, especially a terrible secondary. The Jets will need to hit a couple of home runs on draft day to restore this team to respectability.

As quarterback prospects often go through this time of year, Marcus Mariota's game tape and injury concerns are beginning to be picked apart. He might not be ready for the combine because of a sprained AC joint, which is concerning since he has a lot to prove thanks to Oregon's number friendly spread scheme. Mariota reminds me of Colin Kaepernick, which might not be the best comparison since scrambling quarterbacks are beginning to fall out of vogue. Still, he has a great NFL body and a strong arm, and could be a good fit regardless of scheme. It is too early to drop him too far in my mock, as he is a very talented quarterback and those guys often do not last long on draft day. The Jets need to find a long term answer at that position, and might just draft him (or Jameis Winston) and hope for the best.


7. Chicago Bears
CB Trae Waynes, Jr, Michigan State
6'1, 182 lbs
Hometown: Kenosha, WI
2014 Stats: 46 tackles, 3 INT, 1 sack

The Bears offense severely underperformed in 2014, but there is plenty of talent on that side of the ball to rebound (Jay Cutler's issues aside). The defense, however, is a mess. Chicago needs major upgrades at basically every position on the field, and should go best player available on that side of the ball.

I believe Trae Waynes is a better cornerback prospect than any player selected in the 2014 draft and will work his way into a top twelve pick. Every year there seems to be one guy who rises, like Justin Gilbert, Dee Milliner and Stephon Gilmore. Teams need guys who can cover, and Waynes looks like the best all around corner in this class. Waynes is a bit lanky, but he isn't afraid to tackle and excels in man to man coverage. Kyle Fuller started last season on fire before fading off as the year went by, but showed plenty of promise. Adding Waynes would give the Bears one of the better young cornerback duos in the NFL. It's a start.


8. Atlanta Falcons
DE/OLB Alvin Dupree, Sr, Kentucky
6'4, 267 lbs
Hometown: Irwinton, GA
2014 Stats: 74 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 1 INT

The Falcons are expected to name Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn head coach after the Super Bowl. He should transition the defense back to an attacking 4-3 unit, which will be much better suited for Atlanta's personnel. Still, the Falcons need major upgrades on that side of the ball. The Falcons also need to spend a pick or two fortifying the offensive line.

One thing the Seahawks style defense needs is a LEO, jack of all trades type defensive end/linebacker. Alvin Dupree is not a household name, but he is the active SEC sack leader, and has played all over Kentucky's defense. He is a very versatile, impressive, experienced athlete who chould shoot into the top ten with solid combine workouts. The Georgia native will give the Falcons pass rush a much needed shot in the arm.


9. New York Giants
DT Danny Shelton, Sr, Washington
6'2, 339 lbs
Hometown: Auburn, WA
2014 Stats: 92 tackles, 9 sacks

The Giants needs are easily to identify. Every level of defense, as well as the offensive line, needs major reinforcements. Best player available at those positions would be a good draft strategy for a team that struck the lottery by selecting Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014.

Danny Shelton has slowly worked his way from a mid round prospect to a first round lock. He is built like a MAC Truck and showed serious pass rushing ability as a senior. His nine sacks showed that he will be more than a run plugging rock at the next level. He has drawn comparisons to Haloti Ngata. While I do not think he is the all around force Ngata is, he has shown that he is the best interior lineman in this draft. The Giants were at their best several years ago with a deep, relentless defensive line, and Shelton would be a good start in getting that unit back to where it used to be.


10. St. Louis Rams
OG/OT Brandon Scherff, Sr, Iowa
6'5, 320 lbs
Hometown: Denison, IA

Who knows how good the Rams would be if Sam Bradford stayed healthy and was able to properly develop. Bad offensive line play doomed his confidence early, and injuries have cost him a couple of seasons. The Rams will not be able to land a franchise changing quarterback with the 11th pick, so they are stuck with him for at least another year.

Rams fans may not like this pick, but the offensive line is easily St. Louis biggest weakness. The Rams only decent lineman, Joe Barksdale, is a free agent. Injuries may have ruined Jake Long, and Greg Robinson was a massive disappointment once he moved to tackle. He should improve, but upgrades are needed at right tackle, center and both guard positions. The Rams should have their pick of lineman here. Brandon Scherff is the safest bet among available prospects. He has a ton of experience and could have a Zack Martin-like impact as an interior blocker. Cowboys fans did not like that pick at the time, but ask them how well that worked out.


11. Minnesota Vikings
WR Amari Cooper, Jr, Alabama
6'1, 210 lbs
Hometown: Miami, FL
2014 Stats: 124 rec, 1727 yards, 16 TD

It is hard to believe that Teddy Bridgewater was selected after Johnny Manziel. Bridgewater showed great promise as a rookie, and should be a quality starter going forward. The Vikings should continue to surround him with talent, and build up a young, improving defense.

The Vikings were expecting big things out of Cordarrelle Patterson last year, but he has not been able to show that he is more than simply a freak athlete. Charles Johnson showed plenty of promise, but Bridgewater needs a true number one target if he is expected to take the next step. I do not believe Amari Cooper is a top five pick, as he lacks the explosiveness and freak physical tools that guys like AJ Green and Julio Jones possess, but he is extremely productive and has plenty of experience in a pro style offense. He reminds me of a younger Reggie Wayne, and would be a great building block for Minnesota.


12. Cleveland Browns
WR DeVante Parker, Jr, Louisville
6'3, 208 lbs
Hometown: Louisville, KY
2014 Stats: 43 rec, 855 yards, 5 TD

Stop me if you have heard this before? The Browns are a mess. Cleveland could have had Teddy Bridgewater, but wasted a first round pick on Johnny Manziel. Then, to the surprise of nobody, Josh Gordon got suspended again, and Cleveland will most likely simply cut him. This can be a playoff team, if they stop getting in their own way.

With two first round picks and a very deep wide receiver class, the Browns need to draft a weapon or two.  I believe DeVante Parker is the most talented wideout in this class (other than Dorial Green-Beckham). He shook off some injury problems to post a monster second half of the season for Louisville. He has the size and explosiveness that teams covet, though he is a bit raw. Whoever Cleveland puts behind center will appreciate a big target like Parker.


13. New Orleans Saints
DE/OLB Vic Beasley, Sr, Clemson
6'3, 235 lbs
Hometown: Adairsville, GA
2014 Stats: 33 tackles, 12 sacks

Rob Ryan's defense fell off a cliff in 2014. Despite riffs between Ryan and others in the front office, he will return in 2015. The defense needs a major talent upgrade.

Vic Beasley is a one trick pony, but that trick is highly coveted by NFL teams. He is perhaps the most decorated pass rusher in this class. He is undersized, and not much of a run defender, but he can get after the quarterback. I believe he does not have the bulk to hold up as a three down edge defender, but in passing situations, will give the Saints a huge lift. They simply could not generate pressure from their linebackers.


14. Miami Dolphins
WR Kevin White, Sr, West Virginia
6'3, 210 lbs
Hometown: Plainfield, NJ
2014 Stats: 109 rec, 1447 yards, 10 TD

The Dolphins have the talent to be a playoff team, but bad coaching and the inability to hold on to late leads doomed them. What Miami needs is a front office with a vision and a plan, but with Stephen Ross in charge, that will not happen.

Miami has the most overpaid trio of wide receivers in the league, and would love to cut bait on Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson. The problem right now is that would leave them with Jarvis Landry and not much else. Thankfully this draft is full of quality receivers. No receiver improved his stock during the season as much as Kevin White. He has great size, solid hands and was rediculiously productive as a senior. He would really help ease the loss of Wallace, who is a poor fit with Ryan Tannehill, who can not hit the deep ball.


15. San Francisco 49ers
DT Malcom Brown, Jr, Texas
6'2, 320 lbs
Hometown: Brenham, TX
2014 Stats: 72 tackles, 6.5 sacks

The on the field product was the least of San Francisco's worries, as Jim Harbaugh wore out his welcome. Changes will be coming in the front office and coaching staff, but the roster will remain mostly intact. This is a playoff caliber roster that is getting old, and needs an infusion of youth at several positions.

Speaking of youth, long time great Justin Smith will be 36 years old, and Ray McDonald will move on following off the field issues. The defensive line needs some upgrades. The Longhorns had a rather pathetic season, but Malcom Brown was a beast. The All American was a supreme run defender, and showed plenty of pass rushing ability as well. He has a strong yet agile frame, making him an ideal fit at end in San Francisco's 3-4 defense.


16. Houston Texans
S Landon Collins, Jr, Alabama
6'0, 222 lbs
Hometown: Geismar, LA
2014 Stats: 98 tackles, 3 INT

Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but imagine where the Texans would be had they selected Teddy Bridgewater. Instead, they have no signal caller and no real opportunity to draft one here unless Marcus Mariota and/or Jameis Winston inexplicibly slips. That could be the difference between an AFC Championship game and another year without the playoffs.

Houston has a solid roster from top to bottom, and could simply choose to go best player available here. That could be Landon Collins at this point. I think he is being a bit over-mocked at this point. I am weary of taking any safety in the top ten unless they are a superior pass defender. Collins is the only clear first round safety, however. He is like an extra linebacker on the field and can make the big interception. DJ Swearinger has struggled somewhat, and Houston has multiple upcoming free agent safeties. Collins would give the Texans secondary some thump and swagger.


17. San Diego Chargers
OT Andrus Peat, Jr, Stanford
6'7, 312 lbs
Hometown: Chandler, AZ

The Chargers started the season on fire, but an offensive line that played over it's head in 2013 once again let Philip Rivers and company down. Fixing that unit should be priority number one. Adding an extra pass rusher and secondary help are other needs.

Andrus Peat started the season out as a potential top ten pick. He was a high recruit and definitely passes the prototypical left tackle eyeball test. He had a very solid year as a run blocker, but struggled somewhat in the passing game, which could push him a bit down the board. Still, true left tackles are in high demand, and if he shows well during the combine, could climb back into the top ten. His talent is there, and his issues are coachable. The Chargers offensive line is a mess, and passable left tackle King Dunlap is an impending free agent. San Diego is in good position to upgrade the unit here.


18. Kansas City Chiefs
OG/OT La'El Collins, Sr, LSU
6'5, 321 lbs
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA

At one point, the Chiefs looked like a serious contender, but were much too inconsistent overall to make a playoff push. A bad offensive line, Alex Smith and his wide receiver group once again showed that they are too mediocre to carry this offense far, leaving most of the burden on Jamaal Charles.

Sure, the Chiefs need a wide receiver. Sure, most mocks have them going that route in the first round. However, Andy Reid loves to draft trench guys in the first round. So I have them looking towards fixing a leaky offensive line. Eric Fisher is one or two snaps from being labeled a bust and one might wonder if he would fare better on the right side. Unfortunately, in the mid first round it is hard to find a true left tackle. Some scouts think La'El Collins could stick on the left side. He is very experienced and a hungry, aggressive blocker. Even if he cannot make it on the blind side, he should be a fantastic right tackle or guard. The Chiefs have serious needs at every position.


19. Cleveland Browns
(from Buffalo Bills)
DE/DT Jordan Phillips, Jr, Oklahoma
6'6, 334 lbs
Hometown: Towanda, KS
2014 Stats: 937tackles, 2 sacks

One thing the Browns did do well was fleece the Bills out of a first round draft pick. The team has a plethora of needs. They went offense with their first pick and could focus on the defensive line or secondary here.

Jordan Phillips bounced back tremendously from an injury plagued sophomore season. His stats might not jump out at you, but he is more than just a block occupying tackle. He has some quickness, and the ability to track down ball carriers, meaning he could be an asset at end or tackle in a 3-4 scheme. The Browns really struggled to stop the run last year, and need bigger, more talented bodies up front.


20. Philadelphia Eagles
CB PJ Williams, Jr, Florida State
6'1, 196 lbs
Hometown: Ocala, FL
2014 Stats: 74 tackles, 1 INT

It would be a lot of fun to see Marcus Mariota reunited with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. The Eagles offense would be a blast to watch, but right now, that looks like a longshot. In the mean time, the Eagles really need to shore up a leaky defense, and improve the wide receiver position.

This is the weakest secondary class in a while. Only Trae Waynes and Landon Collins look like sure fire first round prospects. A couple of players will be over drafted simply because teams need to find ways to stop the pass. PJ Williams is a day two guy to me, but he could land late in the first round. He is a physical cornerback with good size who has some experience playing safety. He could be tested by quicker receivers, but has the talent to be a solid starter. The Eagles cornerbacks are simply not very good. Philadelphia could use a few picks on defensive backs.


21. Cincinnati Bengals
DT Eddie Goldman, Jr, Florida State
6'4, 320 lbs
Hometown: Washington, DC
2014 Stats: 35 tackles, 4 sacks

The Bengals are stuck in NFL limbo. They are good enough to make the playoffs, but Andy Dalton's limitations are always exposed, making Cincinnati a quick out. Unfortunately, all they can hope to do is surround Dalton with as much talent as possible, because they will not find anyone better.

Offense was not the only problem in Cincinnati. The Benglas were dead last in the NFL in sacks, and thanks to free agent departures and injuries, the front seven is in shambles. They could go with the best available defensive lineman or linebacker here. Mario Edwards got most of the pre season hype, but Eddie Goldman is clearly the better prospect. He has a big frame and a developing all around game. He is still a prospect and might not be overly productive as a rookie, but the Bengals have a strong track record of developing defensive lineman.


22. Pittsburgh Steelers
DE/OLB Eli Harold, Jr, Virginia
6'4, 250 lbs
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
2014 Stats: 54 tackles, 7 sacks

The once great Steel Curtain has been hit hard by age and free agent deflections in recent years. Architect Dick LeBeau has moved on. The Steelers will keep their same 3-4 alingment, but really need to hit on some draft picks to replenish the defense, because they never spend big in free agency.

Defensive line, pass rushers, secondary, you name it, the Steelers need it. Pittsburgh often drafts the best player available, and should do that once again this year, as long as a need is hit. Unfortunately, there are not any cornerbacks worth selecting here, so the Steelers will go with the best available pass rusher. Someone will probably overpay Jason Worilds in free agency, and Jarvis Jones has been a big disappointment. Eli Harold was a surprising early entrant from a mediocre team, but once you watched tape, you saw flashes of brilliance. He is still very much an undersized project, but could develop into a strong pass rusher in a season or two.


23. Detroit Lions
RB Melvin Gordon, Jr, Wisconsin
6'1, 207 lbs
Hometown: Kenosha, WI
2014 Stats: 343 rushes, 2587 yards, 29 TD

I thought the Lions were going to bounce back in 2014, but I did not think the defense would be what carried them. Without a healthy Calvin Johnson, the offense struggled all year long. However, the defense, led by a relentless defensive line and a much improved secondary, might have been the NFL's best. Of course, Ndamukong Suh is an unrestricted free agent and is looking at a monster pay day. Losing him could change the whole complexion of the defense.

The Lions often draft the best player available in round one. Running back is not Detroit's biggest need, but Reggie Bush is nearing the end of his career and Joique Bell is at his best in a committee. Melvin Gordon had arguably the best season a running back has ever had at the collegiate level. Wisconsin ran him into the ground with 343 rushes, and those carries will be a concern going forward. At this point in the draft, he is worth a pick and should give his team five or six years of quality production. He would be a beast on that Detroit turf and give the Lions offense a much needed shot in the arm.


24. Arizona Cardinals
CB Marcus Peters, Jr, Washington
5'11, 193 lbs
Hometown: Oakland, CA
2014 Stats: 30 tackles, 3 INT

It is a shame the Cardinals lost Carson Palmer and Andre Ellington, because they had a real shot to make some noise in the playoffs. I believe Bruce Arians has quickly become one of the two or three best coaches in the NFL. The Cardinals have major needs all over the place, but he has guided the team to two straight winning records.

On top of that list of needs is the secondary. Antonio Cromartie bounced back in a big way, and may sign with the highest bidder. The other cornerback options are pretty weak. Drafting Tyrann Mathieu a couple years ago paid off, and here they select another troubled defensive back in Marcus Peters. Before his dismissal from Washington, I had him as a top ten pick. I believe his talent still makes him a borderline first round pick, though he comes with plenty of coachable issues. Peters has the instincts to stay with the receiver, yet is a willing tackle as well. If he can keep his head on straight, some Pro Bowl nods are not out of the question. He is the most talented cornerback in this class.


25. Carolina Panthers
OT Ereck Flowers, Jr, Miami
6'6, 324 lbs
Hometown: Miami, FL

A late season surge brought the Panthers their second straight playoff performance, and the team even won it's Wild Card game and gave the Seahawks a scare. Bad salary cap management and off the field issues have hindered this roster. Carolina has major needs all throughout and could go with the best player available strategy.

Carolina's offensive line has struggled following the retirement of long term standout Jordan Gross. The Panthers need reinforcements all along the line, and could spend a couple of picks on that position. Ereck Flowers has prototypical left tackle size and has been a fantastic run blocker, whenever he was on the field. Injuries cost him plenty of time, but if he can show he is healthy, should be a first round pick.


26. Baltimore Ravens
WR Jaelen Strong, Jr, Arizona State
6'3, 212 lbs
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
2014 Stats: 82 rec, 1165 yards, 10 TD

Thanks in part to Gary Kubiak, the Ravens got by on offense with aging veterans like Justin Forsett and Steve Smith. They can't expect to be that lucky now that Kubiak has moved on to Denver, so drafting some talented replacements would not be a bad idea.

I am a big Jaelen Strong fan. He is tall, strong and has a great catch radius. The reason I have him this low is he could struggle during the combine. He is not particularly quick, and scouts like to see the complete package when taking receivers in the top 15. Still, he should pair very well with Torrey Smith as a solid underneath receiver and reminds me somewhat of Alshon Jeffery.


27. Dallas Cowboys
OLB Shaq Thompson, Jr, Washington
6'1, 228 lbs
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
2014 Stats: 61 rushes, 456 yards, 2 TD

The Cowboys defense went from historically bad to somewhat decent, quite a feat considering the lack of talent on that side of the ball. With the offense humming, the Cowboys have to dedicate nearly all of their draft picks towards adding talent to the defense.

Best player available is the strategy to go here, and the best "talent" available is Shaq Thompson. He is the definition of jack of all trades, playing linebacker, safety and even runningback for the Huskies in 2014. Needless to say, he is a supreme athlete who most likely fits best as an attacking, 4-3 weakside linebacker. With Sean Lee's complete inability to stay healthy, there are plenty of snaps waiting for Thompson in the Big D.


28. Denver Broncos
C Cameron Erving, Sr, Florida State
6'6, 308 lbs
Hometown: Moultrie, GA

For as legendary a career as Peyton Manning has had, his legacy might be all of the playoff sputters he has endured. That happened once again, but he should be back for one final swan song with the Broncos, who are built to win now. Adding instant starters to the offensive or defensive line should be the top priority.

Cameron Erving has had quite an eventful career in Tallahassee. Last year he was thought of as a first round left tackle prospect. He struggled there, and was moved to center in 2014. That move turned out to be brilliant, as he excelled at his new position. That versatility should only help him come draft day. The Broncos have major issues in the interoir of their line and will want to keep him at center, where he could replace mediocre Will Montgomery.


29. Indianapolis Colts
DE/DT Carl Davis, Sr, Iowa
6'5, 315 lbs
Hometown: Detroit, MI
2014 Stats: 36 tackles, 2 sacks

Andrew Luck has done nothing to dispel claims that he was the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning. All he has done is lead the Colts to the playoffs all three seasons, advancing deeper each year. Next year he should take the step towards truly elite, but the Colts still need to add major talent to both sides of the ball.

Cory Redding was probably the Colts most consistent defensive lineman in 2014, but is a 34 year old impending free agent. The 3 man defensive line seriously lacks beef. Carl Davis never was much of a pass rusher at Iowa, but was perhaps the best player during Senior Bowl week and looks like a prototypical 3-4 end. Indianapolis struggled mightily against the run and it all starts up front, where Davis will be able to occupy holes and plug running lanes.


30. Green Bay Packers
DE/DT Arik Armstead, Jr, Oregon
6'8, 290 lbs
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
2014 Stats: 47 tackles, 2.5 sacks

There should be no reason that we are not talking about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers instead of Marshawn Lynch and his ballcap right now, but one of the worst coached games in playoff history means the Packers have to go home and reload for next year. Their draft philisophy should be simple. Defense, defense, defense.

Every year there seems to be one freak defensive lineman that gets drafted in the first couple of rounds based on sheer upside. That prospect this year is Arik Armstead. The former offensive lineman is still extremely raw, but you cannot teach 6'8, 300 pound versatile pass rusher/run defenders. He will need to be coached up, but the talent is there for Armstead to be a force as a 3-4 defensive end. BJ Raji is an upcoming free agent, and Datone Jones really needs someone to push him. 


31. Seattle Seahawks
WR Devin Funchess, Jr, Michigan
6'5, 230 lbs
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI
2014 Stats: 62 rec, 733 yards, 4 TD

The Seahawks suffered one of the most devastating Super Bowl losses of all time. I had to get off the internet for a while Sunday night, because they were going crazy with the "worst play call ever" complaints. Twitter and ESPN need to just relax a bit. A pick slant is a play that results in a touchdown or incompletion 99% of the time. How about give Malcolm Butler props for making the play of the Super Bowl for the Patriots? On to the off season for Seattle, who will have decisions to make on Marshawn Lynch and others.

Devin Funchess proved too good an athlete (and too poor a blocker) to stay at tight end. He is still raw and struggles with drops, and Michigan's terrible quarterback situation did not do him any favors, but big targets are in vogue right now, and Funchess should not slip out of the first round. Receiver is not Seattle's biggest need, but they could go with the best player available here.


32. New England Patriots
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Jr, Oklahoma
6'6, 225 lbs
Hometown: Springfield, MO
2014 Stats: DNP

As a Dolphins fan and a man who runs this blog as a fan and not as a professional writer, I can give the Patriots an asterisk for this championship, just like last. Cheaters do win! For real, Deflategate was a serious offense, but not one that would have changed the outcome of New England's win over the Colts. As long as the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, they will be contenders, but they need to continue to draft well to suppliment the rest of this roster.

Dorial Green-Beckham is perhaps the most talented receiver prospect since Randy Moss. And like Moss, he has bounced around due to off the field concerns. If he can put those behind him, he has All Pro ability. He never really developed during his two years at Missouri, but was still a lethal deep threat who showed his speed and tremendous size. A playoff team at the end of the first round could do worse than take a flyer on such a magnificent talent. The Patriots have been known to bring out the best in guys like this, and DGB could be the guy who extends Tom Brady's career by a year or two.


Round 2

1 (33). Tennessee Titans - CB Quentin Rollins, Sr, Miami of Ohio. Blidi Wreh-Welson struggled to replace the departed Alterraun Verner. The Titans secondary was shredded all season. Quentin Rollins was one of the darlings of the Senior Bowl. He showed great physicality, and has the size to matchup with some of the bigger NFL receivers.

 2 (34). Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT TJ Clemmings, Sr, Pittsburgh. Anthony Collins was a serious disappointment as a free agent signing. Clemmings has the talent to be a top fifteen pick, but is raw and struggled during the Senior Bowl. He is still the best player available here and could easily be gone in the first round.

3 (35). Oakland Raiders - MLB Benardrick McKinney, Jr, Mississippi State. The Raiders should just go best player available for every draft choice. McKinney is a big, huge thumper of a middle linebacker. He struggles somewhat during pass coverage, but should form an impressive linebacking trio with Khalil Mack and Sio Moore.

4 (36). Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia. The Jaguars seem to be committed to building around Blake Bortles, who showed promise as a rookie. Denard Robinson showed promise as a running back, but he is not a 20 carry a game guy. Todd Gurley is expected to make a full recovery, and is the rare back you can build an offense around. He could be the new Fred Taylor for this Jacksonville offense.

5 (37). New York Jets - RB Duke Johnson, Jr, Miami. No one had more rushing yards as a Hurricane than Duke Johnson. Not Clinton Portis, not Willis McGahee, not Frank Gore. He is undersized but an explosive athlete who could add a speed element to a Jets offense that has had nothing but plodders behind the quarterback for years.

6 (38). Washington Redskins - CB Kevin Johnson, Sr, Wake Forest. The Redskins missed DeAngelo Hall badly when he went down with an injury, which speaks more to Washington's terrible secondary than the skills of Hall. Kevin Johnson was not tested much for a bad Wake Forest defense, but is very experienced and a solid tackler. He might not be a number one guy, but should be a steady presence for Washington's defensive backfield.

7 (39). Chicago Bears - S Chris Hackett, Jr, TCU. Pick a defensive position, and the Bears need help there. This is a weak safety class in February, but names will emerge at this position like they always do. Chris Hackett might be the best bet to be that guy who squeaks into round one. He lacks the size that teams look for in safeties, but is very experienced and disciplined. He ranks highly as both a pass defender and tackler.

8 (40). New York Giants - OT Jake Fisher, Sr, Oregon. Will Beatty played pretty well at left tackle in 2014, but Justin Pugh was overmatched on the right side. The Giants would like to move him inside to help a troubled interior, meaning they will be on the lookout for a new tackle. Jake Fisher has a ton of experience on the left side blocking for Marcus Mariota. He plays stronger than his 299 pound frame and could be a solid long term option at left tackle for the Giants.

9 (41). St. Louis Rams - OG AJ Cann, Sr, South Carolina. The Rams need to spend multiple picks on addressing a terrible offensive line. Cann might be the best true interior blocker in this class. He is a nasty run blocker who has a ton of experience and should be able to step right into the Rams starting lineup.

10 (42). Atlanta Falcons - TE Maxx Williams, Jr, Minnesota. The new front office and coaching staff will spend plenty of picks on a weak defense, but need to realize the offense is what is going to win them games in the short term. Matt Ryan desperately missed Tony Gonazlez. Maxx Williams is probably the best pass catching tight end in this class. Only 21, Williams could be a player that rises significantly during the pre draft process.

11 (43). Cleveland Browns - WR Phillip Dorsett, Sr, Miami. With Josh Gordon idioting himself out of the league, the Browns will be on the lookout for multiple receivers. Dorsett had a great Senior Bowl week and showed that he might be the fastest wideout in this class.

12 (44). New Orleans Saints - RB Tevin Coleman, Jr, Indiana. The Saints are at their best with a deep crop of running backs on the roster. Mark Ingram will most likely move on, mening New Orleans will look to replace him with a similar back. Coleman has three down potential. He is a strong runner and solid in pass protection.

13 (45). Minnesota Vikings - CB Jalen Collins, Jr, LSU. Collins has the prototypical size you look for in a cornerback prospect, but still struggles with inconsistency. In fact, there are rumblings that LSU's coaching staff persuaded him to turn pro because they have much better options. This class is not deep on cornerback prospects, so he should land somewhere in round two. Xavier Rhodes was fantastic for the Vikings, but they do not have much else at the position.

14 (46). San Francisco 49ers - OLB Nate Orchard, Sr, Utah. The 49ers have all sorts of questions regarding edge rushers, from free agents to suspensions to disappointments. Nate Orchard led the NCAA in sacks, and has drawn comparisons to Jerry Hughes. Not the biggest or most talented, sacks are a trait that usually translate well to the NFL, and he should find a role as a pass rushing specialist.

15 (47). Miami Dolphins - CB Jacoby Glenn, So, Central Florida. Cortland Finnegan predictably flopped as a starter next to Brent Grimes, so the Dolphins desperately need to upgrade the position. Jacoby Glenn was a third team All American as a sophomore and might be the most talented cornerback in this class. The third year sophmore is extremely raw and will need to be developed, but could wind up as a first round pick after the combine rolls around.

16 (48). San Diego Chargers - OG Laken Tomlinson, Sr, Duke. The Chargers need to double or triple up on offensive lineman during this draft. Tomlinson had a great career for a suddenly decent Duke squad, and should be a steady presence at one of San Diego's troublesome guard spots.

17 (49). Kansas City Chiefs - WR Sammie Coates, Jr, Auburn. Eventually the Chiefs need to draft some skill position players. Coates is extremely talented, but has way too many drops to be considered anything more than a second round gamble.

18 (50). Buffalo Bills - RB TJ Yeldon, Jr, Alabama. The Bills had their first winning season in over a decade, but will lose quite a bit on offense this off season. Yeldon has the durability to be a 20 carry per game back, but has struggled with nagging injuries at times. He would be a good focal point to take some of the pressure off EJ Manuel.

19 (51). Houston Texans - DE/DT Michael Bennett, Sr, Ohio State. The Texans are in the unfortunate position of desperately needing a quarterback in a terrible draft for quarterbacks. So they go with the best player available. Bennett is a versatile defensive lineman who is not great at one area, but solid in all. He has the frame to bulk up and provide JJ Watt with a strong counterpart at end.

20 (52). Philadelphia Eagles - QB Brett Hundley, Jr, UCLA. I was never a fan of Brett Hundley, and have not had him mocked in the first round all season. But, he will probably go on day two because he does possess some skills. He is a good athlete and could succeed in a scheme like Chip Kelly's, but has serious work to do on the technical side of the game if he is ever going to be a long term starter.

21 (53). Cincinnati Bengals - DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Sr, UCLA. The Bengals defense needs serious upgrades all over the place. Cincinnati should just go best player available every round. Odighizuwa was one of the winners of Senior Bowl week. He has the versatility to play in any defense, and with solid workouts could be squarely in the first round discussion.

22 (54). Detroit Lions - S Anthony Harris, Sr, Virginia. The Lions secondary played leaps and bounds better than they did in 2013, but James Ihedigo was simply average at strong safety. Harris was better as a junior than senior, but was still an All ACC first team pick, and will bring steady play and experience to Detroits secondary.

23 (55). Arizona Cardinals - DE/OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, Sr, Louisville. Bruce Arians won his second coach of the year award, and it was well deserved because this Cardinals team has holes everywhere. They failed to generate any pass rush from their linebackers. Lorenzo Mauldin had a decorated college career, and has a quick first step and the ability to be a solid pass rusher at the next level.

24 (56). Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Alex Carter, Jr, Stanford. Cornerback is easily Pittsburgh's biggest need. The Steelers do not spend big in free agency, meaning they have to come out of this draft with a body or two at the position. Alex Carter has great size at 6'2, 200 pounds and would give Pittsburgh's secondary some toughness.

25 (57). Carolina Panthers - S Cody Prewitt, Sr, Ole' Miss. The Panthers secondary played well in 2014, but the group lacks upside. Roman Harper was probably the weak link and should be replaced. Cody Prewitt showed during the Senior Bowl that he is not simply a thumper at safety. If he can continue to show solid cover skills, the first round is not out of the question.

26 (58). Baltimore Ravens - DE/OLB Danielle Hunter, Jr, LSU. Pernell McPhee is an upcoming free agent, and the Ravens usually cannot afford to resign their guys. Hunter would be a nice developmental prospect to develop. He is more run defender than pass rusher right now, but has gifted ability.

27 (59). Denver Broncos - TE Clive Walford, Sr, Miami. The Broncos will face decisions on free agents Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. Demaryius should be of greater importance, meaning Julius could move on. Walford is the top senior tight end in this class by a pretty wide margin. He is a solid receiver, but his calling card is his ability to block as well. That all around versatility will ensure he is drafted within the first two rounds.

28 (60). Dallas Cowboys - DE Trey Flowers, Sr, Arkansas. The Cowboys defensive makeover continues. Flowers is not a tremendous pass rusher, but is very reliable against the run.

29 (61). Indianapolis Colts - MLB Denzel Perryman, Sr, Miami. The Colts inside linebackers have the names fans recognize, but D'Qwell Jackson and Jerell Freeman struggled mightily last year. 3-4 inside linebackers need to be able to stop the run, and that is where Perryman excels. He was described as a "thumper" and would be a solid asset in run defense.

30 (62). Green Bay Packers - WR Devin Smith, Sr, Ohio State. The Packers might lose Randall Cobb this off season, and always seems to replenish free agent receivers with second or third round draft picks. Smith was a deep threat specialist who scored 12 touchdowns on only 33 receptions. He needs to refine his route running, but is a true home run threat.

31 (63). Seattle Seahawks - OT Ty Sambrailo, Sr, Colorado State. The Seahawks will most likely be on the lookout for offensive line help with free agency hitting several key players the next couple of seasons. Seattle is said to be interested in Sambrailo, who is a strong run blocker who will most likely be limited to right tackle or inside at guard.

32 (64). New England Patriots - DT Ellis McCarthy, Jr, UCLA. Vince Wilfork is 33 and coming off a serious injury. Even if he returns, he most likely only has a year or two left. McCarthy is a similar space clogger and could be groomed as the eventual replacement.


Round 3

1 (65). Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OG Tre Jackson, Sr, Florida State
2 (66). Tennessee Titans - RB David Cobb, Sr, Minnesota
3 (67). Jacksonville Jaguars - OT Donovan Smith, Jr, Penn State
4 (68). Oakland Raiders - WR Nelson Agholor, Jr, USC
5 (69). Washington Redskins - OT Daryl Williams, Sr, Oklahoma
6 (70). New York Jets - CB Kevin White, Sr, TCU
7 (71). Chicago Bears - MLB Eric Kendricks, Sr, UCLA
8 (72). St. Louis Rams - OLB Paul Dawson, Sr, TCU
9 (73). Atlanta Falcons - CB Ladarius Gunter, Sr, Miami
10 (74). New York Giants - S Gerod Hollimon, Jr, Louisville
11 (75). New Orleans Saints - CB DJoun Smith, Sr, Florida Atlantic
12 (76). Minnesota Vikings - RB Jay Ajayi, Jr, Boise State
13 (77). Cleveland Browns - OLB Zack Hodges, Sr, Harvard
14 (78). Miami Dolphins - WR Breshad Perriman, Jr, UCF
15 (79). San Francisco 49ers - WR Jamison Crowder, Sr, Duke
16 (80). Kansas City Chiefs - C Hroniss Grasu, Sr, Oregon
17 (81). Buffalo Bills - DE/DT Henry Anderson, Sr, Stanford
18 (82). Houston Texans - WR Josh Harper, Sr, Fresno State
19 (83). San Diego Chargers - DE/OLB Markus Golden, Sr, Missouri
20 (84). Philadelphia Eagles - OG Arie Kouandjio, Sr, Alabama

Jonathan Carrano

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Anonymous said...

I think this is the most sensible mock draft I've seen so far.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

Excellent mock. Very insightful on current team weaknesses. However very disappointed to find such a good football mind talk about an asterisk on the Patriots super bowl. Serious violation? Please. As Joe Montana said "It is a stupid rule". As Jerry Rice said on the sticum, "everyone was doing it". I suspect under-inflated balls have been around a long time. You gain grip but lose long ball accuracy etc. Should be a strategic decision for the qb how he wants to play the ball and allow it for all qb's. You let your in-division rivalry tilt your biased opinion. Stick with the draft and leave out the politics. Especially since no ruling has even been made and there as a slew of rumors on what the actual story is.